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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK
EastEnders on top at soap awards
Chrissie and Den Watts
Den's murder helped EastEnders win the best soap award
EastEnders has beaten rival Coronation Street to win best soap at the Inside Soap awards for the ninth year running.

The BBC One show took a total of seven awards, including the best storyline prize for Dirty Den's murder.

The best actress prize for Coronation Street's Sally Lindsay - who plays the downtrodden Shelley Unwin - was one of six awards for the ITV1 soap.

Emmerdale and Bad Girls were the only other shows to win awards during the central London ceremony on Monday.

Letitia Dean (EastEnders' Sharon Watts) picked up the coveted award for outstanding achievement, while Nigel Harman, who plays her on-screen husband Dennis Rickman, took the awards for both best actor and sexiest male for the second year running.

Tracy-Ann Oberman

On the best soap award, Harman said: "A lot of hard work has been put into the show this year."

And Dean said about her individual award: "It's lovely, because I've been involved in the show for such a long time."

The on-screen chemistry between June Brown and John Bardon (EastEnders' Dot and Jim Branning) helped them scoop the award for best couple.

EastEnders' Tracy-Ann Oberman rounded-off the soap's haul for the evening with the best dressed prize.

Challenge

Coronation Street's Lindsay said after the ceremony: "It's great, fabulous. I've never won an award for best actress before."

She admitted it had been a challenge portraying the mental problems suffered by her character as a result of relationship difficulties.

Samia Smith
Samia Smith took the sexiest female award
"It's been very difficult because I never knew anything about panic attacks or agoraphobia," Lindsay said.

"It's amazing how many people helped me out and how many people come up to me now and say, 'I have panic attacks'.

"I just worked as hard as I could and researched my character as hard as I could."

'Hard fought'

Bill Ward, who plays Lindsay's on-screen lover Charlie Stubbs, said he was "delighted and chuffed to bits" at his best bad boy award.

He added: "It's important that Charlie got his comeuppance and I'm delighted for Sally. She really worked hard this year. She deserves it."

The sexiest female award for Samia Smith, who plays Coronation Street's Maria Sutherland, was among the ITV soap's other triumphs.

Shelley, played by Sally Lindsay, and Charlie, played by Bill Ward.  Image credit ITV/PA
Coronation Street's Bill Ward and Sally Lindsay won an award each

Antony Cotton, who plays camp factory worker Sean Tully, took the funniest performance and best newcomer prizes.

Kate Ford, who plays Tracy Barlow, won best bitch, beating Emmerdale's Patsy Kensit.

It was a good night for the actors playing Emmerdale's Dingle family as they walked away with the best family award, as well as the best young actor prize for Charley Webb (Debbie Dingle).

Steven Murphy, editor of Inside Soap, said: "It's been a hard fought year but I'm delighted that the big three soaps have each come away with some fabulous awards.

"It was a privilege to have Letitia Dean accept our outstanding achievement award - roll on next year."

ITV1's Bad Girls won the best drama prize.




FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Sky News Corrie Girls On Top - 15 hrs ago
Glasgow Evening Times Big two steal the show at battle of the gongs - 34 hrs ago
Mirror Sexy Soap Star Sami - 48 hrs ago
Channel 4 News Shelley scoops soap award - 49 hrs ago
The Sun It's The Ender The Bad Times - 54 hrs ago
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


SEE ALSO:
Dennis and Sharon quit EastEnders
13 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
EastEnders comeback for Mike Reid
07 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Will Kat's exit harm EastEnders?
19 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
The winners: British Soap Awards
08 May 05 |  Entertainment


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